Computer Associates reorganizing for e-business challenges

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COMPUTER ASSOCIATES IS fine-tuning itself through a major internal sales and marketing "self re-organization" intended to improve the company's position in e-business.

Just days away from its annual conference showcase at CA World 2000 in New Orleans next week, CA has outlined its plans to merge its products and sales services divisions into one entity that can cross-sell. The re-organization will split CA's sales groups into two areas: one in charge of IBM OS/390 applications an expanding customer set brought on by its Sterling acquisition, and the other in charge of e-business needs including all facets of infrastructure and enterprise management.

"I think within 90 to 100 days most of CA will change pretty dramatically," said Sanjay Kumar, CA president and Chief Operating Officer. "The objective is to present a more focused, but yet unified look at customers ... focused on e-business infrastructure; e-business applications. We will roll that out in the next week."

Kumar said the intention is to keep customers up to speed with the latest developments and technology that the company continues to deploy, such as its neural network Neugents and Jasmineii platform development kit.

CA will focus heavily on spicing up its "Web presence;" enhancing and simplifying the methods customers use to buy CA products over the Web electronically, said Kumar.

The company has gutted and re-done its entire support systems to meet electronics support needs. One example of the support shift will include a new interactive telemarket agenda to sell a select product set through the Web. Kumar said that new features in the system should give customers Web session options to address and receive help for problems with increased efficiency.

As CA implements the changes brought about by its largest re-organization in a decade, the company should not lose sight of its key strength -- software integration -- to win over customers in its new e-business scheme, said Illuminata analyst and IT advisor Jonathan Eunice, in Nashua, New Hampshire.

"Customers don't give a damn about internal organization. They think about the company going forward," said Eunice. "CA can help teach its customers not so much e-business but software integration." They are the best at pragmatic integration of different pieces."

Eunice said the company's re-definition isn't much of a surprise because CA's huge investments in new software and strategies, now its own through the Sterling and Platinum purchases, is too much for its old business structure to cope with.

In the months to follow CA World, Kumar said the company will restructure its marketing and advertising strategy, with plans to double its marketing strategy and seek a Top Ten advertising firm to help push across its global campaign scheme.

Computer Associates International Inc., in Islandia, New York, is at www.cai.com.

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